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Funding pioneering stem cell research

We are very excited to announce that thanks to support from the Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust, the MS Trust has been able to provide funding to get a promising stem cell research project off the ground.

The two year study, which is taking place at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, will involve 80 people with primary or secondary progressive MS (who have already been recruited). The researchers will be looking at whether progression in disability can be reduced using a person’s own stem cells.

The study will examine the effects of stem cells being collected from participants’ own bone marrow and reintroduced into their blood. The bone marrow is a rich source of various types of stem cells which could potentially repair and protect nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord in MS.

Researchers will look for changes in how messages are carried by nerves inside the brain and spinal cord. They will also use a range of other measures to study alterations in disease progression. The study, which is due to start at the end of this year, is already over subscribed so no more participants are required. Results of the trial are expected in 2017.

This phase II study builds on a previous small safety trial in Bristol that suggested this approach to treatment with stem cells might have an effect on disability progression. It’s early days for the research, but we believe it offers real hope for the future.

Working with the Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust, the MS Trust has been able to provide £150,000 towards MRI scanning that is vital to this research. We are delighted to have been able to fund this research which we hope will help to advance understanding of the potential of stem cells.

In the video on the right, Dr Claire Rice gives more information about the study being carried out at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.

Find out more about the Bristol stem cell research project

Supporting people with progressive MS now

As part of our ongoing commitment to people with progressive MS, we are currently seeking funding for research to find out how best to support people whose MS is becoming progressive now. Find out how you can help

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